The Seat Leon: Common Issues

Since its debut in 1999, the Seat Leon has become a popular compact hatchback on UK and European roads. It was designed with a combination of components from Volkswagen, as well as parts from other high-end and smaller cars like the Audi A3 and Golf MK4. However, like any car model, the Seat Leon has some known issues that drivers should be aware of, both for new and used vehicles.

Engine Problems

Seat Leon Engine

One of the most common problems with the Seat Leon is issues with the engine. It’s important to take the car for a test drive to ensure that the engine is running correctly and not exhibiting any of the following issues:

  • Pipes and hoses can break due to heat damage, causing leaks or even bursting under pressure.
  • Oil and smoke can indicate that the turbo is about to fail. Water pumps and camshafts should be replaced every 60,000 miles, and if these problems occur more frequently than that, it’s essential to check whether these parts have been replaced or should be.
  • Carbon deposits on the intake ports and runner flaps are signs of performance problems with the vehicle.
  • If the car is idling, a test drive can help spot high idling issues that could indicate a failing coolant sensor.

Indicator Problems

Seat Leon Interior

Indicator issues can be hard to detect and drivers should not rely solely on the clicking noise from the dashboard as a sign that the signals are working correctly. It’s crucial to physically check that the light is coming on as it should. This problem was most common in cars manufactured between 2016 and 2018 and if detected, the problem should be resolved and repaired at a garage to reprogram the onboard network control.

Airbag Issues

Seat Leon Airbags

If the airbag warning light stays on, there may be an issue with the wiring under the driver’s seat that is known to fail. In most cases, the airbag is not affected, but if you’re buying a used car, consider getting it rewired to avoid potential safety hazards.

Water Leakage

Mould, dampness, and wet patches in the front footwells can indicate that the seal between the A-pillar and the door is not properly installed, allowing water to enter the vehicle. To fix this issue, you may need to replace the seal and wait for the carpet to dry before checking if the leakage persists.

ABS Problems

Seat Leon ABS

If you experience issues with the brakes while driving, the electronic stability programme hardware may not be functioning correctly. Cars manufactured between August 2008 and May 2010 are particularly susceptible to ABS system failures. Another problem may be the ABS pump, causing dashboard lights to come on.

The Dual Mass Flywheel and Gearstick Issues

If you experience trouble with the gearstick, there might be problems with the clutch and dual mass flywheel that can cause the car to become stuck in second gear. The transmission of torque to the drive wheels in the first gear can result in sudden jerks when you apply gas. Some drivers have reported lunging forward while others have found the gearbox to be stuck in first or second gear while driving manuals.

Seat Leon

Moisture Build-Up in Lights

It’s crucial to keep an eye on the lights at the back of the car. If the seals wear out, there is a chance that moisture will accumulate in the lights. This can be fixed easily by replacing the seals.

Suspension Issues

Test your suspension by doing a low-speed brake test. Worn-out bushes on the lower suspension coils can cause a rocking motion in the car when you come to a stop. To fix this issue, you can opt to replace the bushes with polyurethane parts.

Final Thoughts

The Seat Leon has been a common sight on European and UK roads since its introduction in 1999. It is a compact hatchback available in 3-door and 5-door models. While it may not be the most dependable or reliable car on the road, it’s still a decent option.

In reviews, the Seat Leon is considered to be middle-of-the-road when it comes to reliability. Keep in mind, however, that the petrol engine is considered safer than the diesel version, which is known to have at least four times more faults.

The popularity of the Seat Leon has remained consistent over the years and there are no indications that this will change anytime soon.

If you are having problems with your Seat Leon you can get your vehicle checked and any issue diagnosed and resolved by booking online today.

For further information on our services you can browse the site or get in touch with us by calling 019253 30468 or you can email us directly at At Lowton Motor Company we service all vehicles produced by all the top manufacturers from the a Ford to a Porsche and everything in between. Our experienced technicians have access to and traning with all the latest technology. You can be sure your vehicle is in safe hands whether it’s in for a repair, a service or just the annual MOT.

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